Friday, August 22, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (August 22,2008) - Following the Trial Chamber's intervention, the Bosnian State Prosecutor postponed yesterday the examination of witness Mirsad Tokaca.Due to the fact that the Bosnian State Prosecutor was not able to examine its witness in the manner requested by the Trial Chamber, it decided to postpone his examination. The new date will be set at a later stage.

Mirsad Tokaca, who introduced himself as "war crimes investigator", is president of the Research and Documentation Centre, RDC, from the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. This NGO was behind the project on "Population loss in Bosnia, 1991 to 1992".

The Prosecution invited him to testify at the trial of Serbian war criminal Predrag Kujundzic. The indictment states that Kujundzic was commander of a genocidal Serbian paramilitary unit. He is charged with war crimes against Bosnian civilians,committed in the Doboj area,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Defence objected Tokaca's examination in the first place, claiming that he could not be considered as a representative of some formal authority and adding that it was not clear how the RDC obtained the data that Tokaca was going to present in the courtroom.

The Trial Chamber rejected the Defence's objection, adding that it would treat the evidence "in the same way as all other pieces of evidence", after the completion of his examination.

The Prosecution tried to examine Tokaca by asking him about the broad context of the war and number of victims in Doboj area, but the Chamber intervened.

"The factual description contained in the indictment does not cover the entire area of Doboj municipality. It mentions specific locations and we therefore have to concentrate on concrete names and data," Trial Chamber Chairman Saban Maksumic said.

The database compiled by the RDC, on the basis of collected documents and research activities, contains names of individual persons and information about how those persons died during the course of the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Chamber allowed the Prosecution to prepare the witness again and examine him in a different way, which will be adjusted to the Bosnian State Court's proposal.

The Chamber mentioned that protected Prosecution witness 14 refused to cooperate and receive the summons. It informed the Prosecution that it might issue an apprehension order, unless the Prosecution decided not to examine this witness at all.

The Chamber asked the Prosecution to provide it with the recent documents that would show whether protected witness 18 was capable of appearing in the courtroom. The Prosecution filed a motion, asking to read the witness' statement in the courtroom, as he was allegedly not able to appear before the court due to health reasons.

The trial of Serbian war criminal Predrag Kujundzic is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on August 25,2008.

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